Warren County to Reopen Parks on Saturday

(WHITE TOWNSHIP, NJ – April 30, 2020) – Warren County will reopen its parks to the public on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 6 a.m. in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order Number 133, the Board of Chosen Freeholders announced.

“This is a health matter and a social health matter that the county parks be reopened, so our residents have the opportunity to walk on the trails and use our parks in a comfortable manner,” Freeholder Director Richard D. Gardner said, noting the “tremendous physical and mental benefit” to getting outdoors.

“We are counting on Warren County residents to assist in preserving the health of our community by following all guidance for use of the parks. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding during this time,” Gardner added.

The parks will be available only for passive recreation activities in which social distancing can be readily achieved, and the reopening comes with strict rules intended to protect the safety of the public.

Hours of available use are dawn to dusk. Only the following uses are permitted:

a.         Fishing

b.         Hunting

c.         Boating

d.         Canoeing

e.         Hiking

f.          Walking

g.         Running or jogging

h.         Biking

i.          Birding

j.          Horseback riding

The following shall remain closed to the public at all Warren County Parks:

a.         Picnic areas

b.         Exercise stations and equipment

c.         Kayak rentals

d.         Pavilions

e.         Restrooms

f.          Other buildings or facilities, including, but not limited to, visitor centers, interpretive centers, and interior historical sites.

Note: Swimming is already prohibited at all Warren County Parks.

The following additional restrictions and policies shall apply to all Warren County Parks:

a.         Employees and visitors shall wear cloth face coverings while in the County Parks in all settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health or where the individual is under two years of age.

b.         Available parking shall be limited at all County Parks to 50% of the maximum capacity at one time, and visitors shall be prohibited from parking in undesignated areas, including in roadways and other undesignated areas.

c.         No picnicking shall be allowed, including on picnic blankets in signed picnic areas, and no picnic blankets, chairs, coolers, and other such personal property shall be carried into any County Park.

d.         Consistent with Paragraph 3 of Executive Order No. 107 (2020), all visitors shall practice social distancing and stay six feet apart whenever practicable, excluding immediate family members, caretakers, household members, or romantic partners.

e.         No organized or contact activities or sports shall be allowed.

f.          Consistent with Paragraph 5 of Executive Order No. 107 (2020), gatherings of individuals, including in parks, are prohibited.

To report guidelines not being followed, please contact your local police agency.

“I am glad the Governor has joined our neighboring states allowing parks to be open,” Freeholder James R. Kern III said. “Warren County has some of the most scenic areas in our State. I hope our residents will enjoy the nice weather expected this weekend while also practicing social distancing,” Kern added.

“While there are essential restrictions in place for everyone’s protection, we know it’s important for people to be able to get outdoors to exercise and to relax in nature during this stressful time,” Freeholder Jason J. Sarnoski noted.

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